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The Complete AMD Radeon Instinct Tech Briefing

The Complete AMD Radeon Instinct Tech Briefing Rev. 3.0

The AMD Tech Summit held in Sonoma, California from December 7-9, 2016 was not only very exclusive, it was highly secretive. The first major announcement we have been allowed to reveal is the new AMD Radeon Instinct heterogenous computing platform.

In this article, you will hear from AMD what the Radeon Instinct platform is all about. As usual, we have a ton of videos from the event, so it will be as if you were there with us. Enjoy! 🙂

Originally published @ 2016-12-12

Updated @ 2017-01-11 : Two of the videos were edited to comply with the NDA. Now that the NDA on AMD Vega has been lifted, we replaced the two videos with their full, unedited versions. We also made other changes, including adding links to the other AMD Tech Summit articles.

Updated @ 2017-01-20 : Replaced an incorrect slide, and a video featuring that slide. Made other small updates to the article.

 

The AMD Radeon Instinct Platform Summarised

For those who want the quick low-down on AMD Radeon Instinct, here are the key takeaway points :

  • The AMD Radeon Instinct platform is made up of two components – hardware and software.
  • The hardware components are the AMD Radeon Instinct accelerators built around the current Polaris and the upcoming Vega GPUs.
  • The software component is the AMD Radeon Open Compute (ROCm) platform, which includes the new MIOpen open-source deep learning library.
  • The first three Radeon Instinct accelerator cards are the MI6, MI8 and MI25 Vega with NCU.
  • The AMD Radeon Instinct MI6 is a passively-cooled inference accelerator with 5.7 TFLOPS of FP16 processing power, 224 GB/s of memory bandwidth, and a TDP of <150 W. It will come with 16 GB of GDDR5 memory.
  • The AMD Radeon Instinct MI8 is a small form-factor (SFF) accelerator with 8.2 TFLOPS of processing power, 512 GB/s of memory bandwidth, and a TDP of <175 W. It will come with 4 GB of HBM memory.
  • The AMD Radeon Instinct MI25 Vega with NCU is a passively-cooled training accelerator with 25 TFLOPS of processing power, support for 2X packed math, a High Bandwidth Cache and Controller, and a TDP of <300 W.
  • The Radeon Instinct accelerators will all be built exclusively by AMD.
  • The Radeon Instinct accelerators will all support MxGPU SRIOV hardware virtualisation.
  • The Radeon Instinct accelerators are all passively cooled.
  • The Radeon Instinct accelerators will all have large BAR (Base Address Register) support for multiple GPUs.
  • The upcoming AMD Zen “Naples” server platform is designed to supported multiple Radeon Instinct accelerators through a high-speed network fabric.
  • The ROCm platform is not only open source, it will support a multitude of standards in addition to MIOpen.
  • The MIOpen deep learning library is open source, and will be available in Q1 2017.
  • The MIOpen deep learning library is optimised for Radeon Instinct, allowing for 3X better performance in machine learning.
  • AMD Radeon Instinct accelerators will be significantly faster than NVIDIA Titan X GPUs based on the Maxwell and Pascal architectures.

In the subsequent pages, we will give you the full low-down on the Radeon Instinct platform, with the following presentations by AMD :

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We also prepared the complete video and slides of the Radeon Instinct tech briefing for your perusal :

Next Page > Heterogenous Computing, The Radeon Instinct Accelerators, MIOpen, Performance

 

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Why Is Heterogenous Computing Important?

Dr. Lisa Su, kicked things off with an inside look at her two-year long journey as AMD President and CEO. Then she revealed why Heterogenous Computing is an important part of AMD’s future going forward. She also mentioned the success of the recently-released Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition.

 

Here Are The New AMD Radeon Instinct Accelerators!

Next, Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President and Chief Architect of the Radeon Technologies Group, officially revealed the new AMD Radeon Instinct accelerators.

 

The MIOpen Deep Learning Library For Radeon Instinct

MIOpen is a new deep learning library optimised for Radeon Instinct. It is open source and will become part of the Radeon Open Compute (ROCm) platform. It will be available in Q1 2017.

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The Performance Advantage Of Radeon Instinct & MIOpen

MIOpen is optimised for Radeon Instinct, offering 3X better performance in machine learning. It allows the Radeon Instinct accelerators to be significantly faster than NVIDIA Titan X GPUs based on the Maxwell and Pascal architectures.

Next Page > Radeon Instinct MI25 & MI8 Demos, Zen “Naples” Platform, The First Servers, ROCm Discussion

 

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The Radeon Instinct MI25 Training Demonstration

Raja Koduri roped in Ben Sander, Senior Fellow at AMD, to show off the Radeon Instinct MI25 running a training demo.

 

The Radeon Instinct MI8 Visual Inference Demonstration

The visual inference demo is probably much easier to grasp, as it is visual in nature. AMD used the Radeon Instinct MI8 in this example.

 

The Radeon Instinct On The Zen “Naples” Platform

The upcoming AMD Zen “Naples” server platform is designed to supported multiple AMD Radeon Instinct accelerators through a high-speed network fabric.

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The First Radeon Instinct Servers

This is not a vapourware launch. Raja Koduri revealed the first slew of Radeon Instinct servers that will hit the market in H1 2017.

 

The Radeon Open Compute (ROCm) Platform Discussion

To illustrate the importance of heterogenous computing on Radeon Instinct, Greg Stoner (ROCm Senior Director at AMD), hosted a panel of AMD partners and early adopters in using the Radeon Open Compute (ROCm) platform.

Next Page > Closing Remarks On Radeon Instinct, The Complete Radeon Instinct Tech Briefing Video & Slides

 

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Closing Remarks On Radeon Instinct

Finally, Raja Koduri concluded the launch of the Radeon Instinct Initiative with some closing remarks on the recent Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition.

 

The Complete AMD Radeon Instinct Tech Briefing

This is the complete AMD Radeon Instinct tech briefing. Our earlier video was edited to comply with the AMD Vega NDA (which has now expired).

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The Complete AMD Radeon Instinct Tech Briefing Slides

Here are the Radeon Instinct presentation slides for your perusal.

 

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The First AMD Naples + Radeon Instinct Reference Design Revealed!

We had earlier revealed the upcoming AMD Ryzen desktop processor, and the AMD Radeon Instinct compute accelerators. But that was not all they revealed at the AMD Tech Summit held in Sonoma last month. AMD also showcased the world’s first AMD Naples and Radeon Instinct reference design!

This is a compact 2U (19″) server with two AMD Naples processors, and two Radeon Instinct accelerators. Check it out!

 

What Is AMD Naples?

Formerly known as Summit Ridge, the AMD Ryzen is an octa-core desktop processor that promises to match, if not beat, the Intel Core i7-6900K in both performance and power consumption. Like Ryzen, the AMD Naples processor is based on the AMD Zen microarchitecture. But instead of having just 8 cores, AMD Naples is a server-class processor that boasts 32 cores!

Like Intel Xeon processors, the AMD Naples processor can process two threads per core. So the 32-core AMD Naples processor can handle up to 64 threads simultaneously. It will also reportedly feature a massive 512 MB L3 cache.

Compared that to the top-of-the-line Intel Xeon E7-8890 v4 processor that only has 24 cores and handles up to 48 threads simultaneously, and only has a 60 MB L3 cache.

If the AMD Naples processor delivers the same performance and power consumption we saw with AMD Ryzen, then it should deliver at least 33% better compute performance than the Intel Xeon E7-8890 v4 processor, and blow it out of the water in memory performance. Now that will be a killer server CPU.

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Compute Boost With Radeon Instinct

If the potentially superior AMD Naples compute performance does not impress you, the reference design also showcased the new AMD Radeon Instinct accelerators. Their 2U server reference design featured what appears to be two AMD Radeon Instinct MI8 SFF accelerators.

The Radeon Instinct MI8 is a passively-cooled accelerator that requires only 175 W of power. Each MI8 accelerator delivers 8.2 TFLOPS of FP16 compute performance with 512 GB/s of memory bandwidth. So two of them will offer over 16 TFLOPs of FP16 compute performance in this 2U server.

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